the how, the why, and the big picture

Yesterday I was talking about writing with a non-writer friend. He asked why I don’t write fiction (which, after all, is a lot more saleable than poetry), wondered whether I actually enjoy the process of writing poetry, and suggested that I should use the voice memo option on my phone to help with my writing.

I’m not sure I managed to give suitable responses to his various points, but it did get me thinking about how and why I write.

And having thought, I’ve decided that there’s an element of oyster to my writing.
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the big picture

Looking through my photo files for ideas for a blog post, I find mostly close ups of flowers and insects. Panoramic views are few and far between, and pictures of people are even less frequent. close up of small pink flowerets Even if a scene could be a landscape, my focus is usually on details.
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entitled

Last Bank Holiday weekend, I posted Spring lamb with floral trimmings, which included a poem I’ve had in my files for a long time under the title Easter Edition. I’ve always thought it was a weak title but hadn’t come up with anything better. Now I’m wondering whether using the post title, or something similar, such as Lamb with apple-blossom garnish, would be a good idea, or whether it would just be gimmicky.

Tiger moth (insect)
eye-catching, engaging, appealing… qualities of a good title
This got me thinking of poem titles in general. Rather than write a whole new piece on the subject, I’ve adapted the following from Making titles count, a piece I wrote recently for my poetry column in The Woman Writer, the magazine of the SWWJ:
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poems & pomegranates

pomegranate

It’s been a while since I talked on the blog about the narrator/writer dichotomy, but it’s still a subject that interests me.

Recently, I started writing a column for The Woman Writer (the magazine of the SWWJ – the Society of Women Writers and Journalists). In the article “I”: an invitation to poetry, published in the April issue, I talked about how first-person, present-tense poetry can encourage the reader to empathise and participate rather than simply observe.

Although it’s not a long article, it brings together a number of my thoughts on the subject, so I’ll include it in its entirety here:
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through the square window

The view while I waited for a bus yesterday evening was pretty, but the wooden bus shelter added new perspectives as each separate frame of the window offered a different story:

multi-frame bus-stop window looking out onto fields
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